What developers should know about CPI and CPCV for rewarded video

by Mark Rosner on Jun 3, 2014

When you run rewarded video in your apps, it’s important to understand the two ways providers pay out based on the CPMs delivered by the campaigns:

  1. You can run campaigns that pay on a completed view.
  2. You can run campaigns that pay on a completed action from that video view. That action could be an install or something else, such as signing up for a newsletter or viewing a product page.


So you want to maximize your ad revenue. Here’s what you should know about CPI and CPCV as applied to a video network:

  • CPI = Cost Per Install. You get paid when users finish watching a video ad and then follow the call to action at the end of the video. This means they leave your app to make a purchase or install another app.
  • CPCV = Cost Per Completed View. You get paid when users finish watching the video – no further action needed.

How CPI campaigns work

In the CPI model, networks pay every time an action is completed.  Impressions of the ads are not part of equation – rather, performance is what matters.

Here’s an example: An advertiser runs an ad for a new daily deal app. The advertiser pays on a CPI basis, for every user who installs the new app.

When offers match up well to the audience, the individualized performance will be higher on the first few impressions. That’s because interested users are most likely to take action right away.

How CPCV campaigns work

In the CPCV model, all impressions are valued the same way. The advertiser pays the same amount for every video view, as long as predetermined performance metrics are met.

Here’s an example: An advertiser runs a movie trailer ad on a flat CPM basis across a broad list of publishers, as long as the publisher maintains a certain level of performance. “Performance” in this case could be defined as completing the video, clicking through to a promotional landing page for the movie, or even signing up to be notified by email for special movie-related promotions. 

Maximize your revenue

To optimize your revenue, you want to start by running a quality, performance-based network that can match the right ads to the right audience. After the first few impressions, then you can default to a broader-based CPCV network for consistent ongoing revenue.

That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds: optimizing the value of those first impressions with a CPI, and then continuing to generate revenue off the ad with a CPCV.

Mark Rosner is AppLovin’s Chief Revenue Officer.

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